We’re always chasing the newest strategies to keep skin dewy, firm, and glowing. But they don’t all work—and some could actually be harmful.

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Myth: It’s best to use every product in a skin-care line

Truth: When it comes to anti-aging products, less can be more. “So many patients come into my office with redness and irritation that can be traced back to their anti-aging products,” explains dermatologist and president of Livad Skin Care, Dr. Janet H. Prystowsky. Instead of trying to be comprehensive and apply as many creams, serums, and moisturizers to your face as you can find—which is likely to cause redness and irritation, Dr. Prystowsky recommends starting slow and natural, giving your skin a chance to adapt to the new regimen. From there, you can figure out the ideal concoction that works for you. These are the skin-care rules to live by at every stage of life.

Myth: Luxury brands are better

Truth: There are certainly beauty products worth splurging on, but price does not always mean quality. Just as you try to shop organic and invest in timeless bags or suits that go the distance, you may think high-end beauty products are a better investment than drugstore alternatives. But dermatologic surgeon at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Dendy Engelman, MD, begs to differ, explaining that a hefty price tag doesn’t ensure a product will be more effective, or that it even has different ingredients than what you could find in drugstore equivalents. “There are some great drugstore products that can produce good results, and purchasing the cheaper (yet equally effective) products can really cut costs in the long term,” she says. “The best way to choose a skin-care product is to look at the type and concentration of ingredients first and the manufacturer second.” Check out the secrets the beauty industry doesn’t want you to know.

Myth: Anti-aging products work immediately

Truth: If you apply under-eye cream and a retinol formula moisturizer before bedtime, and you hope to see those wrinkles disappear by morning, you might be in for a different kind of wake-up call. Instant gratification is a pipe dream we all harbor, but Dr. Engelman reminds us that patience is the key to success with growing older. This is especially true when you’re trying an anti-aging product for the first time or switching over to a new formula. “All skin-care products take 4 to 8 weeks to really induce measurable skin changes,” she explains. One smart way to see if a product is impacting your specific enzymes is to take a bare-faced selfie in natural light once a week over two months, so you can see what’s transformed over time. Here’s what you should eat to improve your skin quality.

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Myth: You can DIY effective anti-aging products

Truth: The fountain of youth isn’t in your kitchen. When it comes to DIY treatments, Dr. Prystowsky warns, “You don’t know what allergens, irritants, or organisms have found their way into your ingredients and kitchen,” she says. “A lot of recipes call for ingredients that simply aren’t safe to use on skin,” she says. If you happen to stumble on a DIY anti-aging mixture that seems simple enough, Dr. Prystowsky says to take your Google search a step further and see if the product is already on shelves somewhere. “Maybe an anti-aging cream with blackberry extract and almonds already exists in stores. If the recipe claims are true, shouldn’t the real product be better?” she asks. Here’s more bad skin-care advice dermatologists often hear.

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